Cigar Reviews

Alec Bradley Prensado Robusto

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So today I’m doing something a little different and something we don’t typically do. If you look through our list of reviews, you’ll see there are not really any duplicates but today I’m making an exception to that rule. Previously we may have reviewed different vitolas of the same cigar, usually when it’s a newer vitola in the line. The cigar I chose today is neither a new vitola or a new blend or a new anything, it’s the exact same one that Tony reviewed. You can see Tony’s older review of the Alec Bradley Presado by clicking this link.

Now let me tell you why I’m doing this. My reasons are two fold… The first is completely Tony’s fault. Big surprise right? lol. He’s bragged about this cigar a few times and how much he enjoys it. A few days ago we started chatting about how I’ve never really been impressed by an Alec Bradley cigar, so he tightened the chains on my desk and told me I had to review it, or else! Ok, not really, but he did ask me to give it a chance. Secondly, I was at a little BBQ herf (Hosted by a good BOTL, Lou at Rumours Furniture) today and had another discussion on Alec Bradley. This time it was with one of Lou’s friends named Jarvis. A really nice guy who also started bragging about Alec Bradley…

So, I basically caved in and decided to give this cigar a try. I had a few Prensado cigars but only in this vitola so that’s why I’m reviewing it instead of a new vitola. I won’t go through and re-write all the good stuff about Alec Bradley or the store of this blend. Check out Tony’s review of the Prensado or you can also get more info from my review of the Family Blend and the Vice Press. So without further adieu, I sit here in my backyard on a warm and damp evening while I prepare to clip the cap of this cigar and see where my Alec Bradley bias takes me…

Cigar: Alec Bradley Prensado
Drink: Six Grapes Reserve Tawny Porto
Vitola: Box-Pressed Robusto (5 x 50)
Wrapper: Honduran Corojo
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan/Honduran
Price: $9
Burn Time: A little over 1 hour

Construction:
• Very smooth box pressed appearance with a darker milk chocolatey colored wrapper
• There are almost no veins and the ones that are visible are very thin
• The top of the cigar is finished with a smooth triple cap that blends in very well
• The foot of the cigar is very well packed as is the rest of the cigar which is very firm to the touch
• Cutting was firm but clean
• Draw is just about perfect despite the firm feel of the cigar, no problems in this department
• The band was perfectly applied, it didn’t just fall off but still slid off easily

Burn:
• Toasting was easy and lit up fairly quickly to a nice even glow
• A slight touchup was needed at the start but other then that it is burning very well
• As I hit the halfway point, I’m happy to see no burn issues and it’s coming along razor sharp
• A slight burn issue near the last third, but it corrected itself without my intervention
• Cigar burned a bit hot in the last inch but I kept smoking it anyway

Smoke & Ash:
• I was met with lots of smoke right off the bat here, fills your mouth nicely
• The ash first appears to be nice and strong, well constructed and definitely pressed
• The color on the ash is a little dark, venturing from a medium grey to an almost black
• Ash continued nice and strong until about the 1 inch mark when it fell off into the ashtray, I thought it would last longer since it looked so well packed
• All other ashes were about the same 1 inch and kept the clean and strong look to them

Tasting Notes:
• The wrapper gives off an interesting sweet aroma, mixing some nice cocoa and coffee notes
• The foot offers more sweet coffee notes and a bit of mild tobacco, as well as a mild spice
• The pre-light draw seems to have lost the sweetness and is replaced mostly by a tobacco flavor, some woodsiness and a bit of peppery spice on my lips
• Initial flavors really pop on this cigar but are not overpowering, I was met with a good helping of leather and cedar alongside a touch of coffee and nutmeg-like spices
• The retrohale on this cigar is giving a nice light bite with a smooth woodsy finish
• This cigar is very well balanced, I’m figuring it’s in the medium to full range but it’s so smooth that it doesn’t feel that way
• As I reach the halfway mark, the spice is picking up a bit with a little more pepper and raw nutmeg
• The coffee and leather notes are also developing nicely and adding some roasted flavor to it
• Getting into the last third, the coffee flavors have sort of tapered off but the woodsy and cedar notes are making a nice appearance
• There’s been a nice creaminess from the start that has persisted and is just getting better as he cigar progresses
• The smoothness continued right to the nub with a great balance the whole way through

Final Thoughts:
Ok, I gotta honestly say that I enjoyed this cigar. I went in with some bias as you can tell from my intro but it seems that once again you can’t judge a book by it’s cover (or it’s brand). It started off with a nice burst of flavor and burned well through most of the cigar. The box-pressed shape was also very comfortable and a perfect size to smoke. The body was into the fuller range but the smoothness and balance made it blend in so nicely. So I must avow that I found an Alec Bradley cigar I enjoyed from start to finish. Now the biggest downside to this cigar was the price. I didn’t look up the price until after I smoked it and I was a little shocked, especially since it’s one of the smaller vitolas in the line. This did not taste like a $9 cigar to me and that disappointed me because it was pretty good on all other accounts… I wouldn’t say this cigar makes me an Alec Bradley convert but it will open my eyes to at least try a few more blends from this brand.

Pairings:
Today we have another new port that I stumbled across at the liquor store recently. It’s called Six Grapes and is considered to be a Reserve Tawny Port which was bottled in 2004. I was pleasantly met with a great mixture of in-you-face fruit mostly dominated by a strong blackberry tartness. The port also had a nice full bodied feel to it and coated the palate very smoothly leaving a nice sweetness on the tongue. The coating of your palate is one of my favorite aspects of pairing port and cigars because it’s like a fresh cleanse after each sip. It paired excellently with the woodsy and spicy notes of the cigar. I would definitely recommend trying it out. This cigar could also pair well with a nice strong coffee, scotch or maybe a dark soda.




Daniel T. (a.k.a. Dalamscius) is an IT Professional from Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He enjoys cigars, scuba diving, hockey, fishing, nature and anything that challenges his mind. If he's not sitting on his big comfy couch or at work you can usually find him in a boat on top of the water or 100ft under the water enjoying a dive. He is engaged to a wonderful Fiance and looking forward to his wedding. Feel free to contact Daniel anytime via email (dalamscius[at]gmail[dot]com). And make sure to follow him on twitter http://twitter.com/Dalamscius

10 Comments

  1. Tadd

    May 30, 2011 at 6:07 pm

    Nice review Daniel, I am with you I have not been really wowed by AB’s stuff… especially when you figure in the price. Just way to many better options at lower prices… I have had both the Prensado and the Tempus and both were enjoyable. However I do not seem to reach for them in the shop becuase of so many other options.

  2. Lou Bozzelli

    May 30, 2011 at 6:18 pm

    Actually, the invite said “Cigar-b-que”. I can’t believe that Daniel T. made it, but I was so happy to see him since it had been a long time. A celeb at my first afternoon herf! Yes, it is true – my buddy, Jarvis and I are big Alec Bradley fans. I don’t think I have ever had one I didn’t love: Trilogy – cameroon & exotic maduro, MAXX, SCR, Family Blends, etc……. I can go on. Interestingly enough, I’ve never had a Prensado – I guess it’s the price tag, huh?? It would have been nice if Daniel had brought one for everyone at the herf (just kidding!) but hey, Daniel was swamped with admirers from the moment he got to my place. I’ll tell you though what a gentleman Daniel is – he brought me a Cohiba (cuban) siglo 6. If that’s not a BOTL, then I don’t know what is. I showed him my humidor, which my wife had turned upside down for some reason (everything was mixed up). I wanted to give him a ciggy to show my gratitude, thinking maybe I have one he’s never tried…not possible. I gave him a Perdomo Lot 23 .

    Great review, Daniel. I can’t wait to try a Prensado… maybe Jarvis has a couple. It was great seeing you on Sunday.

  3. Jarvis DeBoice

    May 30, 2011 at 6:46 pm

    Hi everyone, my name is Jarvis…yes, the guy who convinced Daniel to try a Alex Bradley ( I am a MAXX freak ), I think the Tempus “Genesis” pairs well with a good 8 year or older Rum, but my favorite AB is the Family Blend “Robusto”, whille the Tempus does warm up a bit at the end, the Family blend is one cool Gar, start to finish, very complex, dare I say herbal, huge smoke and great tobacco flavour through out, great with a 15 year old Glenfiddich single malt scotch. Now that I have said my little bit, I must truly say Daniel is a top notch guy, who is as classy as the cigars he smokes.
    p.s. my all time favorite is Montecristo No 2, and the newer Montecristo Open Master series, I always pick up a couple boxes when in Cuba, you are only allowed to smoke these cigars with 21 year old Glenlivet : )

  4. Dalamscius

    May 30, 2011 at 10:26 pm

    @Tadd – I’m the same way Tadd, too many options out there! Availability and how your local shop pushes these would likely affect your willingness to buy them too.

    @Lou – Cigar-B-Que! Classic! We need to patent that! haha. I had a great time Lou and will definitely make my way out there again. Lots of great people!

    @Jarvis – Thanks for checking out the site buddy! I wanna see the pics and videos you took, make sure to send them along to me. Had a great time chatting with you and it’s nice to find another Scotch drinker and a great guy. Now I’ve gotta get you and Lou on the Port train! haha

  5. Tony Casas

    May 30, 2011 at 10:28 pm

    So the port is good? I see that pop-up in my local liquor stores all the time but have been hesitant to pick any up.

    Glad you enjoyed it bro, I love the heck out of these sticks.

    Where do I get groupies like these guys?! Seems like an awesome bunch!

  6. Jarvis DeBoice

    May 31, 2011 at 9:29 pm

    Here is the link Daniel to the Cigar-b-que, looks as if you will have to copy and paste it pal, later

  7. Dalamscius

    May 31, 2011 at 10:52 pm

    Thanks for posting up the video Jarvis! Good times with great people!
    Email me those pictures if you can, I’d love to have a copy of them: dalamscius[at]gmail[dot]com)

  8. Jay

    June 2, 2011 at 9:07 am

    Daniel,
    My favorite AB cigar, hands down. Tempus is right behind. Glad you enjoyed it.

  9. jjo

    June 21, 2011 at 11:15 pm

    I’ll have to get my hands on some of these.

    Daniel, do you pair only tawny ports with cigars, or do you also do vintage ports? I have a Graham’s ’77 that’s been patiently waiting for the past ~30 years for the right occasion, but I wouldn’t want to overpower the wine.

  10. Dalamscius

    June 22, 2011 at 7:12 am

    Jjo, I don’t pair ONLY with Tawny Port but it is my favorite pairing. I also enjoy craft beers and Scotch as my backup plan. Depending on the situation, I’m good with coffee or even a Diet Cola.
    I have a couple 20 years bottles but none that are 30+, that thing should be a very interesting drink! I’d love to hear about it once you crack it open!

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